Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Just Because

I have spent the past several days thinking about the way it felt to receive our dinner treat this past Saturday. If you do not know what I am talking about you can read the entry below, but I will quickly recap...Trace and I went to dinner and one of the guys he works with, Wade, saw us and picked up our tab. He was gone before we even knew. We were simply told we owed nothing. We couldn't argue, object, or even say thanks. We simply had to accept and do nothing in return. So I have been thinking, why is it so hard to accept a gift like this?
As I pondered I had 2 other scenarios come into my mind in which I was blown away by the kindness of someone else! Times when I really felt uncomfortable just accepting the gift I had been given. One of those was this summer when we received a package from some missionary friends of ours (yes, Maggie and Josh if you are reading, I am talking about you). It was a table runner and place mats from Africa where they are. I would not expect it was a huge financial cost to purchase them, but I felt unworthy. I mean we are supposed to support, encourage, and pray for them. They are not supposed to do things for us. It wasn't Christmas time or any other special occasion. Why would someone do that for me? The other situation is when a group of ladies I worked with at the Grace counseling center took me to lunch as my last day approached. They also surprised me with a baby gift (I was pregnant with Andrew). I was not expecting a gift of any kind. I was embarrassed. I did not know how to receive it graciously and part of me just wanted to return it. Why does this go against every part of my nature? Why do my insides want to deny the gifts that I know I don't deserve? What are these gifts that are so hard to accept? They are gifts of grace.
It's the Wade's of this world who pick up your tab, just because. It is the missionary friends who send you a gift, just because. It is the women of this world that God surrounds you with who give you a baby gift, just because. Asking nothing in return, not because they have to, or even because they are expected to, but just because. It is the man on a cross who poured out His blood to cover my sin while I am still a sinner so that I may taste eternal life. Not because He had to, definitely not because I deserve it, but because of who HE is. These are the gifts that are hard to accept.
Grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that is greater than all our sin!
Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see his face,
will you this moment his grace receive?
(Most of you probably recognize this popular hymn...I stole a few parts)
Were these small, simple acts of kindness and love? To some people they would be, but to me they are divine acts sent by my Heavenly Father to teach me of His Grace, His Might, His Sovereignty, and His Goodness. Lord, I will rest in your Grace. I accept your Grace. I praise you for the blood that was poured out on my behalf. It is available...just because.

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